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The Eight Human Talents: Restore the Balance and Serenity within You with Kundalini Yoga

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  328 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Gurmukh, an internationally renowned yoga teacher, outlines the spiritual and physical practices of Kundalini Yoga, which she has taught for the last thirty years. With illustrated, step-by-step instructions, she teaches the basic principles of the ancient art of yoga, and explains the eight chakras, which are the energy centers of our bodies, and the source of the eight ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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Heidi The Reader
The Eight Human Talents is part-story and part-instruction manual for the practice of Kundalini yoga. I've only ever practiced hatha yoga and this is very different from what I've learned. I've tried a couple poses and this is definitely going to take some practice.

If I learned anything from this book, it is to breathe deeply. One of Gurmukh's main points is that by connecting with the breath, we reconnect with ourselves.

Also, don't be afraid to try, even if you fail. "If we can make one step
...more
Erin
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about Kundalini Yoga, which is an ancient Sanskrit practice. The '8 Human Talents' refer to the energy chakras in our body, which each represent certain energies and intentions and feelings, etc. I would love to believe in it 100%, I truly would. We're all looking for ways to feel better. I do take it all with a grain of salt. I tried many of the yoga exercises in this book, specifically designed to help with whatever physical and/or mental ailments are discussed in certain ...more
M. Jane Colette
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best overview of Kundalini yoga I've read to date. I would recommend it both as an introduction to the "newbie" and as a "go deeper" book for someone who wants to know more. It can be experienced and enjoyed on both levels.

A disclaimer: This is a very spiritual + God-ful book. As an atheist, this is something that I find I sometimes have to work really hard to get past, you know? The author has such a personal and profound relationship with a very specific kind of God, and I
...more
Christina Boyle
May 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mind-body-spirit
She is an inspirational instructor and I enjoy reading about the chakras but some of the anecdotes are extreme (referencing crippling dependancies and people battling serious demons) and thus distract from the points. And admittedly I couldn't finish the book. She was telling yet another tall tale sounding anecdote that was discussing someone with flipper like appendages and it was the last straw. I just can't take the book seriously. Better to attend her classes and then the dose of crazy is ...more
Kathryn
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Be sure to read every word. A book to hold onto and re-read until the information is fully absorbed and put into practice. A gift for oneself.
Clarissa OM
Dec 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Most of the anecdotes I found very unbelievable. Towards the second half of the book I wasn't really taking it in, just skimming past them. I did find the meditations and breathing exercises useful, though, and I enjoyed reading about the role each of the power centers plays in every day life. I also liked reading about each chakra's "shadow side."
Jean
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I've tried quite hard to live a more positive life over the past few years and decided to read this book after having it in my house for a few months. I found every page to be captivating and thought-provoking. It will easily be referenced at an almost biblical-level. This book gave me the comfort and insight I needed, when I needed it. It's daunting to practice self-care but this book really reminds you of the importance and was never once too "hokey" or unbelievable.
Rachel
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Misery is a choice we can always count on. Misery is not elusive, it's always there for us." (p.xxii)

"We call Kundalini Yoga the “Yoga of Awareness,” because it teaches you how to become aware of the energies you contain, and then it teaches you how to shift gears when you need to.
To be successful in life, you have to learn to change your gears to meet the circumstances around you. If you are not in control of your own transmission, life will be a disaster for you, no matter who you are. You
...more
Jezzyka
Oct 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
No joke, this is the recommended book that I'm supposed to be reading for my yoga college course.

Here's my problem with it...

I understand that the chakras are a tricky business, and that it's going to be kind of hard to explain them without sounding all neo-crazy. That's okay I suppose, I'd like as much hard science as possible but she's explaining something only partially backed by such.

My problem? Constant mention of God. That negates the entire study for me. I'm an atheist, and yes I'm
...more
Henny
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
A friend of mine advised me to look into Kundalini Yoga. Because there are no Kundalini Yoga teachers in my vicinity, I explored the Internet and found Gurmukh, who had been teaching Kundalini Yoga for about twenty years, when writing the book. I really liked reading the book. Not so much because it gave me new insights, moreover because it reflected my own insights and did a wonderful job at integrating them. It felt like coming home. It didn't answer all the questions I had and it didn't give ...more
Sarah
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: personal-growth
Hm. I'm not exactly part of the target audience for this book, as I don't believe in chakras and auras. So a book about "balancing" them doesn't do much for me.
But I did take a class at the author's studio in Hollywood, and I have to say it was a great experience: physically challenging and mentally refreshing.
The author spends some time on her life story, which I found compelling, and some of the anecdotes about her students were interesting.
If aura-reading is your thing, you'll like this
...more
Marie
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
There's a TON of kriyas (exercises) and meditation techniques scattered throughout the book. Great if you're an experienced yogi or someone just starting out along your path and you'd like to delve a little deeper into the chakra system and Kundalini Yoga.

I loved hearing her journey and those of her students gathered from her 30+ years as a Kundalini teacher and practitioner. Gurmukh has a great knack for storytelling. I was inspired while reading this book because her aliveness and connection
...more
Erin
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm only 50 pages into this book, but it's delightful. The explanations of the talents and shadow emotions related to each chakra are really fascinating and easy to relate to. Stories are employed to illustrate the manifestation of the chakras, and it really gets you hooked. I hate to admit it, but I usually have a hard time paying attention when I read yoga philosophy. This is so different and conversational and has just the right amount of asana and pranayama mixed in.
Yaaresse
I have the author's yoga DVD and have found it one of the better available for beginners to yoga. That's what spurred me to pick up the book.

I'm not sure what to think of the book. It's very uneven. There are some terrific explanations of breathing and exercises to practice. There are some interesting insights. Then there are some anecdotes that simply defy reason and are unbelievable...as in I literally cannot believe them.
Kc
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good book on the eight chakras and some basic exercises to "open" them. Gurmukh is a very well-respected teacher of kundalini yoga ("the yoga of awareness"), and I think her videos do a better job of introducing kundalini practice and I definitely recommend those. This book is a good supplement to the videos for those who want to learn more.
tallulah
so i pretty much read this entire book today. i'll admit i didn't read every word. and i might have skipped the entire last chapter. but i did some of the exercises. it's very conversational for a yoga book. six tenths self help four tenths yoga. that said it must have something worth while if i was compelled to read it in a day.
Chanae
Oct 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
I read this book for my yoga class. There is a chapter on each of the 8th chakras. I did gain a few insights and ideas (ie breathing techniques) to help myself improve in certain areas, but there was a lot of stuff that is hard to take seriously. Overall it's a feel-good book that could probably help you improve in all aspects of your life, if you let it.
Sheila Seabrook
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for learning more about the 8 chakras and I intend to reread it and practice the techniques described. As a newcomer to kundalini yoga, I find the explanations very clear and simple to follow.
Grace Dadoyan
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Each chapter is devoted to one of the chakras. Kundalini yogis see the aura as the 8th chakra, thus the title. Each chapter contains Kundalini yoga exercises to strengthen/awaken that chakra. What's not to love about Gurmukh!
Becky Glauser
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. I am probably going to read it again and again. This is a keeper.
Katharina
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are openminded and feel inspired, read this book. It is one of my "go to's" weekly. It teaches mindfullness and enlightenment through chakra balance. I love Kundalini Yoga!
Ken Deshaies
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well, I am truly into Kundilini yoga, and Gurmukh nails it. From the overall philosophy to specific practices you can put into place at home, this is the manual. It will always be at my side.
Minerva
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great introductory book to learn about our chakras and exercises to keep them in balance.
Jos-Madelaine Standing
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly empowering for every individual.
Karla Becker
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Have read this book many times. It introduced me to Kundalini Yoga, the yoga of awareness.
Alaina Bannister
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I personally loved it, very inspirational.
Katie Curlee Hamblen
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My favorite book about kundalini yoga. Always revitalizes my interest in it.
Andrew
Nov 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Gurumuk was my yoga teacher in LA. I miss her classes and wish I could go. Her book and DVD are the next best thing.
Ruby Koa
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm learning all about the different chakras, which is cool since I'm now teaching a yoga class series on the chakras.
Suzanna Collet
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2016
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Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa is a teacher of Kundalini Yoga and a pioneer in the field of pre-natal yoga. She is the co-founder and director of the Golden Bridge Yoga Center in Los Angeles.
“If you fall over, you fall over. If you have to stop, you stop. But you start again. Just like life itself, you start again.” 1 likes
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